Doha round of trade talks risks gridlock

TOKYO The Doha round of multilateral trade negotiations risks imminent gridlock and the loss of credibility without the political will of participants at this weekend's informal World Trade Organisation meeting to avoid it, the head of the Geneva-based body said here yesterday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Sat 15 Feb 2003, 3:52 AM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 8:24 PM

"We are facing imminent gridlock. Only tightly-focused political energy can avoid it," WTO director general Supachai Panitchpakdi said.

His comments came in a working dinner for ministers representing 22 WTO member countries and regions at the start of the three-day "mini-ministerial" meeting hosted by Japan.

In a hard-hitting speech, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, Supachai spelled out the key deadlines facing trade negotiators as well as those that have already passed without reaching agreement.

He highlighted the failure to meet a December 2002 deadline for agreeing access to cheap generic drugs for countries too poor to manufacture their own, and the lack of agreement on "special and differential treatment" for developing nations before the WTO. - AFP

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